Sports

Lakeside takes lumps from Spartans

The double-overtime thriller over Lakeside Friday night and a make-up win at Eastside Catholic Saturday afternoon gave Bainbridge its first Metro Mountain Division season title.

And you can bet Bainbridge coach Penny Gienger let loose a heavy sigh of relief -- especially after her girls pulled out the Friday night victory.

“I thought if we played our game (against Lakeside), that we’d be able to beat them,” Gienger said. “But it wasn’t easy. It was close the whole way.”

Like the boys, the Spartan girls were looking for a little payback against the Lions. Lakeside represents one of just two losses on the Bainbridge season.

The visitors quickly took the early lead, jumping out 19-10 near the end of the first quarter, before Spartan senior Alice Russell buried a trey to put the quarter-break score at 19-13.

It was another Spartan trey -- this one by senior Morgan Zajonc -- that finally brought the two teams even again, at the 4:08 point of the second quarter. Bainbridge outscored the Lions 16-6 in the period to take a 29-25 lead into the break.

Hungry Lions entered the arena after the intermission, as senior Mikaela Cowles pumped in a three and a two-point bucket to give the lead back to Lakeside, 30-29. Bainbridge came alive and outscored the Lions 13-5 for the remainder of the quarter to take a 42-35 lead into the final stanza.

The two teams battled close with the Lions knotting the score at 44-44 on a three-point shot by Mary Kuder with 4:22 to play.

The lead went back and forth for the next few minutes. Zajonc put the Sparts up 49-48 on a trey just moments before she was whistled for her fifth foul at the 2:39 mark.

The Lions inched ahead, 53-51 with just over a minute to play, but Russell tied it up 53-53 with 50 seconds remaining. After the ball changed hands a few more times with no points scored, Lakeside called a timeout to set up a final play with 9.2 seconds on the clock.

The plan was set up to let Cowles take the ball to the basket, and the Lakeside senior drove to the hoop and charged right through Spartan Allie Picha. Cowles picked up the foul (her fourth), and time ran out in regulation.

Bainbridge outscored Lakeside 6-2 in the early going of the first four-minute overtime period, with Picha scrambling for two tough inside buckets and Kari Pierce hitting a nice shot in the key to counter two free throws by Lakeside’s Cowles.

Things were looking good for the Spartans with less than a minute to play and a 59-55 lead -- but the visitors were far from giving up. Two quick three-point baskets had the Lions suddenly leading 61-59.

Again, it was a scrappy Picha to the rescue as she fought through the paint to tie the score at 61-61. Both teams missed out on opportunities to score in the final seconds -- and the game went into a second overtime period.

Bainbridge’s Haley Wiggins opened the second OT scoring with a basket, countered by a matching hoop by Lakeside’s Cowles. Wiggins calmly buried a pair of free throws with 2:07 to play to give the Spartans a 65-63 lead.

Both teams had chances to score from the free-throw line in the final 15 seconds, the most crucial coming with just 2.3 ticks left on the clock. Lakeside’s Caitlyn Parker missed both freebies, and Bainbridge gathered in the rebound to hold on for the win.

For the Spartans, Russell and Wiggins led the way with 17 points each, Zajonc had 13, Picha 10, Jacquie Menalia 4, Tiana Gallagher 2 and Pierce 2.

Saturday night, Bainbridge downed Eastside Catholic 53-41 on the Crusaders’ home court in a make-up from an earlier postponed contest.

“We didn’t play very well,” Gienger said, in spite of the victory. “It’s tough to finish a game at 10 o’clock and then be on the road to another game at 11 the next morning.”

In that victory, Russell led Bainbridge with 13 points, Picha had 11, Angela Keller 5, Menalia 5, Kaitlin Bailey 4, Pierce 4, Zajonc 4, Gallagher 3, Nicole Mitchell 2, and Emily White 2.

The Spartans open Metro League tournament play next Wednesday night at home against the Sound Division number-two team.

As the Mountain Division champion, Bainbridge is guaranteed a seed into the district tournament, and would clinch a bye in the first round of the district tourney with a win next Wednesday.

Tonight, Bainbridge hosts Eastside Catholic for senior night -- the final regular-season home game. The varsity game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

The Bainbridge regular season concludes Friday night with an away game at Seattle Prep.

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